The true soul of Martha’s Vineyard, captured through the eyes of the unique and beloved artisans who live there
Vineyard Folk leads us on an intimate journey into the lives and inspirational places of some of the many talented artists who have always helped make up the larger community of Martha’s Vineyard.
The island, located just seven miles off the coast of Cape Cod, has a long history as geographic muse. Lilian Hellman and William Styron wrote overlooking the Vineyard Haven harbor, and Thomas Hart Benton—whose influence is still felt in island painters today—depicted the stone walls and winding roads of what is known as “up-island” more than a hundred years ago.
Now, a new generation continues to build on these creative legacies, inspired by the island’s diaphanous light, endless beaches, historic towns, and rolling fields and vistas. Vineyard Folk features painters, potters, poets, musicians, writers, and actors and the unique ways they work, live, and play here. From Tiffany Vanderhoop’s hand-beaded earrings based on original Wampanoag designs, to Julie Taymor’s screenplay inspired by the animals in her backyard, to Micah Thanhauser’s pottery made from the island’s natural clay and Allen Whiting’s pastoral scenes of his farm, each page is filled with island treasures.
Above all, Vineyard Folk is a love letter to a remarkable island community, an homage to those who came before, and a testament to the current challenges of living on a resort island where the weather can be fierce and the housing scarce. With personal interviews and stunning photography, it is a collage of creativity, resilience, and hope. Come celebrate the artistic island folk of the Vineyard, captured at a golden moment of time that might not last forever.
About the Author
Amanda Benchley is an experienced arts and design journalist whose articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Galerie, and Introspective Magazine. She is the author of Artists Living with Art; Our Shoes, Our Selves; and Open Studio. Tamara Weiss is a lifelong Vineyard resident, the owner of Midnight Farm (with her partner Carly Simon), and a local interior designer. She is the author of Potluck at Midnight Farm Cookbook, and has produced a number of films and TV shows, including the documentary Born to the Gig, the upcoming biopic on Carly Simon, Boys in The Trees, and a food/travel series with actor and photographer Tony Shalhoub.